Nottingham Forest 0-0 Watford: Reds deservedly end winless run
NOTTINGHAM, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 02: Kiko Femania of Watford looks to break past Cyrus Christie of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match between Nottingham Forest and Stoke City at City Ground on December 02, 2020 in Nottingham, England. The match will be played without fans, behind closed doors as a Covid-19 precaution. (Photo by Alex Pantling/Getty Images)

Nottingham Forest ended their three-game losing run as they earned a deserved point in a 0-0 draw against Watford.

It was a game that in truth did not contain too many clear cut chances, with arguably the best falling to Troy Deeney six minutes from time but from a good position, he could only fire an effort over the crossbar.

However, it was Forest that did look the more threatening when going forward but brave and resilient defending by the Hornets and a lack of a cutting edge prevented the home side from really testing experienced goalkeeper Ben Foster.

Story of the match

After a lively beginning to the encounter, it was the hosts that created the first clear cut opportunity on the 17th-minute mark when Harry Arter was found by a Yuri Ribeiro cutback but his effort was directed narrowly wide by the head of Lyle Taylor.

Two minutes later Watford went up the other end and nearly broke the deadlock when Joao Pedro latched on to loose ball inside the area, but his half-volleyed attempt was blocked by the legs of Brice Samba.

A couple of minutes after the half an hour mark, Arter struck the side netting from a free-kick from the left, but Foster always seemed to have his grounds covered.

Forest continued to mount on the pressure and on 37 minutes they formed a half chance when Cafu found Joe Lolley at the back post, but his low effort deflected wide of the near post.

After the break, the away side showed improvement as almost immediately after the restart, Pedro had a snapshot from a range that flew just adrift of Samba's right-hand post.

Taylor on the 50th minute then had a great chance to hand the Reds the advantage, but his first-time effort inside the area was wild and it flew well over the crossbar.

The Forest forward was provided with another opportunity eight minutes later but he was unable to direct his header from a Ribeiro cross from the left on target.

Then on the hour mark, Watford went on the counter-attack and Ismalia Sarr found Domingos Quina on the edge of the box, but he totally mishit his first-time effort from a promising position.

The hosts again went close two minutes later when Taylor inviting low cross from the right narrowly evaded the arriving Cafu inside the six-yard box.

Then despite the home side looking like the more likely to get the all-important decisive goal, with only six minutes remaining Troy Deeney had a golden opportunity to wrap up all three points for the visitors.

This was when a Sarr cross from the right was cleared only as far as the forward, but his first-time strike arrowed narrowly over the crossbar.

Positive to take for Forest

It is fair to say that it has been a struggle so far this season for the Reds as since the start of the season they have already had to replace one manager and before the match, they sat only two points above the drop zone.

However, this performance against a side who just came down from the Premier League and who are currently up there pushing for an automatic promotion spot will be something that new manager Chris Hughton will be proud of.

Despite not being able to test Foster in goal, they did look lively and dangerous when going forward, it was just that final killer ball that was missing ultimately.

Hughton will further be immensely pleased that his defence limited the Hornets to few good opportunities especially considering they have such good options going forward with the likes of Pedro, Deeney and Sarr.

Hornets away days struggle continue.

Despite this result meaning that Vladimir Ivic side move up to third in the table, the fact that they have only won once away from eight league games will be a cause for concern.

Ultimately their flying performances and results and Vicarage Road is the reason that they are in the position that they are currently in as they currently obtain the best home record in the Championship.

Although if they seriously want to challenge and contend for an automatic promotion spot come the end of the campaign, Watford really need to start turning some of their away draws into wins.

Star Player: Christian Kabasele

In what was a tough battle against a lively Taylor, 29-year-old centre half Kabasele dealt with the forward well and limited him to nothing more than half-chances throughout the entirety of the game.

There were certain periods where the hosts piled on the pressure searching for a goal particularly late on, but he managed to stand firm and resolute to prevent any goalward opportunities from testing Foster.

Also throughout the match Forest resorted to crosses into the box from wide positions, but again Kabasele seemed to deal with each and every delivery very well as it was not very often at all that he was beaten in an aerial duel.